Twenty-nine-year-old Brandon Gill could shift another seat in Congress to the right in his bid to replace retiring veteran lawmaker Rep. Michael Burgess (R-Texas).
Endorsed by former President Donald Trump, Gill has raised more than $500,000 for his election bid and more than $1.5 million through his PAC. Gill also has plenty of connections in the conservative world.
“I plan on being in the House Freedom Caucus on Day One,” Gill told us in an interview. “I think that’s what this district is looking for.”
Gill is running in a crowded primary to succeed Burgess in Texas’s deep red 26th District. More than a dozen candidates have filed to run for that seat, including Luisa Del Rosal, who formerly served as Rep. Tony Gonzales’ chief of staff.
Scott Armey, a former Denton County judge, is also in the race. Armey’s father, former House Majority Leader Dick Armey, held the seat for 18 years before Burgess.
The race is likely to be a pivotal test between old-school conservative appeal versus Trump’s “America First” brand.
Gill has secured several heavyweight conservative endorsements, including Reps. Troy Nehls (R-Texas), Ronny Jackson (R-Texas) and Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.) and the House Freedom Fund, HFC’s campaign arm. Gill is also married to prominent conservative filmmaker Dinesh D’Souza’s daughter, Danielle D’Souza.
Gill said he wants to focus on holding Republicans accountable to conservative promises, agreeing with the tactics House hardliners have taken that have led to chaos during this Congress.
“Most people, definitely outside of Washington, would like to see some fresh faces here,” Gill said. “Oftentimes, we’ve had the same people doing the same things for a very long time and people are looking for a change. I think a new generation is helpful.”
Of course, Gill would serve as quite the shift from Burgess’s mild-mannered presence in Congress. Burgess, a doctor, has been far from a flamethrower and has kept a low profile with the media. The veteran lawmaker has primarily focused on health care policy while in office.
Burgess told us he’s not weighing in on candidates in the race and doesn’t plan on backing anyone.
“Washington should not pick our representatives. People should,” Burgess said. “There’s a lot of folks in it and I’ll have to make a decision to vote for somebody because it’s my district, but I’m not planning on endorsing.”
The Texas primary is March 5.
– Mica Soellner